If you find yourself wondering how you can add value to the brand experience of your loyal clients or club members, then I think it's time we had a conversation about keynote speakers.
A keynote speaker isn't simply a motivational speaker who will talk about their business or mission. Instead, he or she will research your brand, spend time talking about it with you and apply their intellectual property to your vision and mission.
For instance, if you struggle with talking about finance—and your customer base needs advice in the financial sector—then it would make great sense to hire (or trade services with) a keynote speaker who is an expert in that field. It helps if he or she is well-known, too.
The more relevant the material (and the more renowned the speaker), the more value you will add for your brand's followers.
So let's talk about some DOs and DON'Ts when it comes to researching, selecting, hiring and marketing your brand's next (or very first) keynote speaker.
Securing the Right Keynote Speaker for Your Brand
We have well-known international keynote speakers in the Brand Builders Club on a regular basis, so I've learnt some things along the way—and I'd like nothing more than to share that information with you so you can have great success from your very first hire.
Here are some pointers for hiring keynote speakers:
- Hire someone you can vouch for. That means you've seen them speak, or you have been doing business with them and know they'll bring lots of value. You can take recommendations from others; however, I would recommend checking the speaker out for yourself, to ensure that they're right for your unique audience. Personally, I only hire keynote speakers for my Brand Builders Club if I've already spent money with them and they have proven themselves to be brilliant in their field.
- Search by topic first. The whole idea of getting in a keynote speaker should be to round out the experience you're offering your customers. When you research your competition and receive feedback from your list, take note of those things where your brand is lacking (or areas you're not proficient in or that you don't wish to cover). This is how you should search for your keynote speaker, rather than choosing someone just because they're dynamic or motivational.
- Start at the top of your budget. This is one area where you are likely to get what you pay for. For that reason, I always recommend committing as much as you deem feasible to the hiring of the keynote speaker. More well-known speakers will be more expensive; however, it's easier to market your event if you can use that person's name as the focal point of your campaign. It is quite possible that you'll find a keynote speaker who is better suited to your audience, albeit less prominent (and less expensive). Again, go for relevance first.
- Consider trading services. If you are an expert in your field, there may be someone looking for your expertise. And they may be someone perfect for what you need. Barter is common in these cases, and is a great way to deal with a tight budget.
- Schedule 4-6 months in advance. The earlier you book the speaker, the more likely you are to get the date you want.
- Plan the event around the speaker, OR the speaker as part of the event. What will take the mainstage in your marketing of this event? Is the keynote speaker a really big deal? And just throwing his or her name out there will attract attention? Well, then make the speaker the focal point. However, if the event is an annual happening, or if you believe the theme will drum up lots of attention (and the speaker is not so well-known), then put the marketing focus on the event, with mention of the keynote speaker.
- Use the event to build your list. Some of your ideal customers may have been standing at arms' length from your brand because it was missing something. The value that your keynote speaker will bring just might be that "thing." Consider asking your current customers to bring a friend, or market the event to the public, making sure that the added value is clear.
- Ask for feedback. The best way to determine if a keynote speaker hit the mark is to ask those attendees who most needed the information. Was it helpful? Was it worth the time and/or money? Would they recommend the event to others? What type of speaker would they want next time? Answers to these questions will help to make future events better and better.
- Decide if you will charge admission. If you're hiring the speaker for a group that already pays a membership fee, then the cost should be included in the membership (with some exceptions for add-ons, etc.). For all others, you'll need to determine if you will charge (and how much). Generally, free events aren't seen as very valuable. On the other end of the spectrum, a fee that's too high will keep some of your most ideal customers away. Find the median price that will attract without repelling.
When I hire keynote speakers for Brand Builders Strategy days and other events, I consistently connect with more ideal customers. And keynote speakers are always excited to speak at my events, because they connect with lots of their ideal customers. That's great networking, all around.
Do you need guidance in finding the right keynote speaker? Or better yet, how about a pool of them from which to choose? We've got lots of recommendations and connections in the How to Build a Brand group. Join today. It's FREE!
Need a keynote speaker who specialises in branding for your next event? Contact us here.